Save our park from the baptist church development

By David Godbold

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The use of crown land given for FREE, conditional on it being used as a place of worship ONLY for the community, a small Baptist group are now planning to demolish a heritage listed building and thrust a high density mix of residential & commercial development of 6 storeys / 21 metres in an area mark in legislation for only for a 3 storey / 9 metre height limit. Expert legal advice confirms historical restrictions on this site's usage as a place of worship only is still valid. The Melbourne City Councillors have disregarded the proposed unlawful new usage of the land site as well as ignore community outrage, saying land usage restriction is "not a planning issue".

The small local Baptist group of about 15 individuals whom don't even live within this suburb anymore and known now only for their own self interest, refuse to answer questions on how they intend to use the $40 Million + profit windfall they expect to make. They certainly have no plans to provide any real lasting benefits to the local community anymore. The function hall they intend to build and use for weddings, in a residential street, is being opposed by local residents for excess noise and already over cramped parking issues it will cause. Research shows there are already over 100 function rooms and halls in walking distance of this site that are easily available for use and the so-called "community hall" is not wanted or needed by the people of this residential community.

Further research shows the proposed development will cast long shadows over a small adjoining Millers Reserve park and it will additionally detrimentally affect a very important vista of the War memorial across the road.

Under legislation the Baptists group have tax-free status and are very likely to pay no taxes at all on the multimillion dollar proposed residential/commercial development.

Over 400 people signed a petition and a further 220 members of the local community sent Melbourne Council written objections opposing the Eighth Day Baptist groups' plans. Now our community are engaged in a legal battle to save the land from an over excessive development. Up against the church/developer backed with unlimited funds, the local residents are now forced to raise money themselves to pay for legal representation.

The local residents want the land to be used for its original intention or returned for community use as open green space.

Please help by donating to our legal fund to return the land back to the community and send a message that it's NOT OK for a church to ignore community values.

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David Godbold